Haydons Creek to Sancrox

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Hi everyone,

Hope everyone is doing ok with the state wide lockdown. Shame about our scheduled paddle last Sunday but let’s hope the situation improves soon and we can get back on the water together as a group in the not too distant future.
This report is on the last paddle we did on Haydons Creek, a lovely deviation off the Hastings on the way to Sancrox.
When we arrived at the paddock at the end of McMillan Drive, Blackmans Point we were pleasantly surprised to see that the area had been cleared (presumably to remove flood debris) and a better access ramp into the river created which makes launching much easier and safer.

We paddled across the river, checked out what boats were at Birdons & then paddled up river, under the two bridges towards Sancrox enjoying the scenic panorama up towards Comboyne. The island just past the new bridge seems to have shrunk since the floods. Being right in the main flow of the river it would have been subject to a lot of pressure from the onslaught of the floodwaters. A beautiful sight along the way was two majestic white bellied sea eagles sitting side by side on a branch overhanging the water. I have never seen two sitting so close; usually they commandeer their own branch!!
When we turned into Haydons Creek we saw that the little white wharf just inside the creek had also fallen victim to the floods, but some repair work is underway here also.

Haydons Creek was just as peaceful and picturesque as usual; so quiet and secluded after the wide open expanses of the main river. Birds were singing In the trees and it was so pleasant just meandering along. We seemed to get a fair way up the creek…..further than on previous paddles.

After enjoying the creek we paddled back out on to the main river & back downstream for a bit of lunch back at the cars.
I have not been able to find much historical background on Haydons Creek. It rises near Sancrox and runs for about 5kms before joining the Hastings River. I could not find any information on who it is named after, but a possibility could be ‘Big’ Bill Haydon, often referred to as the Cedar King, a legend of the timber industry on the North Coast in the early 1900’s. Other places in the district have the Haydon name. Material I accessed described Haydon as the classic Australian self-made man. He left home at 15 years of age with two shillings and two years later purchased the first of fifty bullock teams, becoming the youngest person known to own such a team. He went on to construct 10 sawmills in the Camden Haven, Hastings & Macleay districts.

Bill Haydon disappeared in the Willowie Scrub in North Washpool (Washpool National Park) in 1965. His body was never found. A plaque at the big cedars (trees over 1000 years old) on the Washpool Walk record his story.
Hope our eight paddlers enjoyed this outing which is approx.. 12 kms return.


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